â€œThe new normal.â€ Itâ€™s a term many of us have grown accustomed to over the last couple of years, as economists and politicians have attempted to gently remind us that the current conditions will not change anytime soon. That, in fact, our new way of life may become permanent.
The same can be said for the RV industry. As fuel prices continue to climb, manufacturers are finding innovative ways to pack appealing, Class A-style features into smaller, lighter motorhomes that not only get better fuel economy, but also can double as a second family vehicle and even be parked in the driveway. Are we witnessing the beginning of the â€œnew normalâ€ for motorhomes?
We canâ€™t say for sure â€” but weâ€™d be willing to bet that motorhome manufacturers such as Triple E wouldnâ€™t mind if that were the case. For more than
45 years, Manitoba-based Triple E has been a household name in the Canadian RV market, and its Leisure Travel Vans brand now consists of five Class B and compact Class C products. Its latest offering is the Unity U24IB, a 24-foot, non-slide motorhome built on the exceedingly popular Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform.
This floorplanâ€™s unique feature is a full walk-around, residential-quality 54-by-74-inch bed, a first in North America on a non-slide 24-foot Sprinter, according to the company. The bedroom also boasts big-coach features like his-and-hers wardrobes, a convenient flip-up dresser and makeup center at the foot of the bed, and a private two-piece lavatory and residential-style shower.
As you move your way forward in the motorhome, the Unityâ€™s luxury intentions become even more evident. The compact galley boasts Corian countertops, as well as a Euro flush-mount cooktop and sink with hinged glass covers. Thereâ€™s also a combination convection microwave oven, European-styled curved wood cabinetry, and a handy slide-out pantry for cooking essentials.
When itâ€™s time to relax, pull out the 26-inch LCD TV that can be easily viewed from the forward dining area or the swiveling Ultraleather driver and front passenger seats. To make the best use of the limited space, the multi-position dining table can also serve duty as a single bed.
One of the limiting factors in a small motorhome has traditionally been storage space, but thatâ€™s not the case on the U24IB. Thereâ€™s 60 cubic feet of exterior storage as well as a lighted, pass-through baggage compartment at the rear of the motorhome. And if you like to entertain outside, youâ€™ll appreciate the standard power patio box awning and the optional Entertainment Package, which features a removable bedroom TV that easily mounts on an exterior swing-out arm, complete with exterior stereo.
Elsewhere, standard features on the U24IB include full-body paint with clear coat and matching bumper, 13,500-Btu ducted roof air conditioning with heat pump, a new 7-inch touch-screen GPS and backup camera, and optional side-turn cameras.
Chassis: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Engine: 3.0-l V-6 diesel 188 HP
Fuel: 26.4 gal
GVWR: 11,030 lbs
Exterior length: 24′ 7″
Exterior width: 7′ 8.5″
Exterior height with A/C: 10′ 5.5″
Freshwater cap: 30 gal
Gray-water cap: 37 gal
Black-water cap: 29 gal
LP-gas cap: 12.7 gal
Base MSRP: $112,970
Leisure Travel Vans, Ltd.: 877-992-9906, www.leisurevans.com